Published on April 14, 2015
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Each year, about 22,000 women in the United States learn that they have ovarian cancer.* Although the exact cause of ovarian cancer is not known, one of the risk factors may be obesity. The link? Estrogen, which is made in body fat . . . and the more fat cells a woman has, the more estrogen she produces.
In pre-menopausal women, each month progesterone is also produced to enable the lining of the womb to be shed during the menstrual cycle. However, after menopause, when estrogen production by the ovaries drops dramatically, it continues to be produced in fat tissue. Therefore, women with excess body fat continue to produce high levels of estrogen, and these act on the womb lining — but without the regulating effects of progesterone. It’s this that’s the link.
Obese women have a higher risk of developing ovarian #cancer. Click To Tweet
High levels of post-menopausal estrogen can also stimulate abnormal breast cell growth, which leads to more rapid development of estrogen-positive breast cancers.
If you've had #breastcancer, you are at an increased risk of developing #ovariancancer. Click To Tweet
*Update: As reported by the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, the American Cancer Society estimates that 22,530 new cases of ovarian cancer will be diagnosed in the United States in 2019.